In 1996 Kevin Kane had the idea of opening a dollar store after his wife Jane, continuously came home with items from a newly opened dollar store. After 18 years working as a Sobey’s store manager, Kevin was impressed with the value his wife was getting from the dollar store. Intrigued with the possibilities, Kevin began a year long research project that concluded with his purchase of the first Great Canadian Dollar store franchise, east of Alberta. Now, 12 years later Kevin has 25 locations across the Atlantic Region.
Quispamsis, New Brunswick was the location of Kevin’s first Great Canadian Dollar store. He stated that the decision to purchase a franchise instead of starting his own store independently was an easy one. “It was a no brainer for me. Even though I had been in retail for 18 years, I had no idea where to start and I didn’t want to make mistakes that, in future could cost a lot of money. The Great Canadian Dollar Store home office in Victoria BC, helped me to determine product mix, assisted with the store layout & design, they even provided guidance on how and when to place inventory orders. The home office coordinator worked closely with me for things like seasonal orders and promotions. Being part of a franchise took the guess work out of operating my business”.
When asked about the success of his stores, Kevin is quick to point out that it is a team effort from the ground up. “I am fortunate to have great employees in all my locations”. Every store manager is involved in ordering and merchandising for their respective stores. “They are my eyes and ears for the communities they serve. Our goal is to bring in products that each unique community is looking for. For example, some stores have larger party sections while others might carry more house ware items.
The merchandising in all of Kevin’s stores is impressive. Shelves are full and well organized, the store managers taking great pride in their displays and end-caps. “I don’t want customers thinking they are in a typical dollar store. I want to “wow” them. I do that with innovative merchandising, proper selection of products and low prices”. Kevin and his managers have individually mastered each of their local markets, making his stores successful in every community they serve. With talented managers and staff in each location it’s no wonder they have done so well. He has the right people, doing the right jobs. With his franchise buying power, Kevin is able to purchase unique, quality products at unbeatable prices, which make his stores stand out among the rest.
Kevin was named “Retailer of the year in 2007” by Traders Forum.